The media has both a positive and negative portrayal of nursing through shows like ER, scrubs and Nurse Jackie. Nurses are seen working hand in hand with doctors but unfortunately are not seen playing the actual nurses role like dressing the wound, starting iv and bedside treatment. The doctors are doing all these in the shows. Also, nurses are seen on these shows dressing in skimpy outfits that make them look unprofessional and only out to seduce the doctors or even patients at that matter. However during disaster times, nurses are portrayed as the volunteers helping disaster victims as during Haiti earthquake, Hurricane Katrina and even of recent the Ebola outbreak in Liberia West Africa. We see the news on tv where nurses are ...view middle of the document...
Nurses have always been pushed aside in decision making regarding patient treatment. Their opinion does not matter. They are there to carry the doctor’s order. If nurses who spend more time anyway with the patient than the doctors do will confidently assert their educated opinion about a patient care to the doctors, they will begin to earn more respect. If a nurse is confident and performs her job well, every patient and family encounter becomes an avenue to sell nursing profession. Patient families might encourage their sons or daughters to take up a career in nursing.
Career fair is another avenue to explain to the public/college bound students about nurses and what their role is in health care. I have attended quite a few career fair with my kids in the past where college ready students were advised on career path. Nursing profession is almost always the one left out. You see representatives from pharmacy, medicine, physical and speech therapy and law making a speech about their profession. Nursing always left out.
In addition, nurses can organize outreach program to educate the public on the role of nurses. Nurse Practitioners who equally can prescribe prescription like doctors can speak out about their role especially where there is shortage of doctors. Getting involved in politics and political action is another avenue for nurses to better educate the public on their role and scope. Nurses play a very important role but their pay is not reflective of that. If nurses can push their case via political action, it will impact their salary and their image. If there is nursing political action group to demand an apology or retrieval of offensive statement against nursing profession, it will go a long way in protecting their image.